By Perry Lefko
Whether or not he was surprised by his firing as head coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats is something Charlie Taaffe won’t say.
Taaffe is under contract for next season, which is why he is not talking.
“I’m not commenting on anything,” Taaffe told Sportsnet.ca. “My agent has advised me not to say anything until I get my situation resolved.
“I apologize, but he doesn’t want me saying anything until we get resolution tomorrow.”
Ticats GM Bob O’Billovich said, “He’s under contract and we’ve got to honour that.”
O’Billovich said he talked to Taaffe on Sunday about concerns he had with the team and its direction and told him he would call him on Monday. He described the firing as a “very professional parting.”
O’Billovich said the move was made because even though the team is tied with Winnipeg for last in the East with a 2-8 record, four points behind Toronto, he believes reaching the playoffs is not out of reach.
“Being an eternal optimist that I am, we’re still in the thick of the battle and that’s why we made the decision,” he said. “Looking ahead and where we are and where we want to be, this is just the right thing to do at this time,” he said.
O’Billovich said offensive co-ordonator Marcel Bellefeuille, whom he has known for a long time, will be the interim head coach.
Bellefeuille has proven his talent as an assistant coach and offensive co-ordinator in the CFL after coaching Ottawa to a Vanier Cup victory in 2000, but he has also come under fire for some of his ideas.
“If I were to make a short list today of guys in the league who would be head coaching candidates, Marcel would be on the list,” he said.